From among the projects for Africa in these 6 years that emerged from the General Chapter in 2007, we would like to present the present-day situation and that which will be realized in the following days.
The current situation (already realized)
a. The formation of formators and formandi are the highest priority. All of the priors provincial are concerned with the formation of the members of their respective missions: Zimbabwe, Rep. Dem. Congo, Mozambique, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Kenya, Tanzania.
b. The existing foundations are asking to be consolidated. Certainly, the Carmelite charism has become a reality in these respective places. In order to affirm the brothers in their faith, fraternal visits have all been completed in all the missions by the Councilor of the area.
Regarding canonical visits, the Prior General, accompanied by the Councilor of the area, went to the following missions: Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Kenya, Rep. Dem. Congo.
In certain missions at this time, missionaries are helping one another out in terms of personnel in order to support the fraternal life by having a sufficient number of members in the community and assisting in the formation of some members.
At the level of governance, and conscious of the future, progressively new productive structures of management and the administration of goods are being created.
Situation for the future (to be achieved)
a. The creation of the Institute of Carmelite Spirituality in Nairobi (Kenya) “under the immediate jurisdiction of the Prior General” (Constitutions 166) emerging from the General Chapter is a crucial question. It demands the preparation of competent and actively engaged friars. Some things are moving slowly.
b. The primary need of the animator of the African geographical area is to affirm the friars in their Carmelite vocation. Therefore, the canonical visit to Tanzania will take place in the coming days at a determined date.
c. Thanks be to God, the new foundations are not lacking in Africa, whether on the part of the provinces who want new experiences of evangelization, or in the internal development of existing missions.
It is fraternally recommended to follow the official criteria of the Order: From the start, our charism should not be neglected, to provide a sufficient number of friars to the new communities to conduct the fraternal life worthily, in no case to neglect or sacrifice formation, to provide adequate means of sustenance, to maintain a good relationship with the local Church regarding Carmelite patrimony (the document Mutuae Relationes can help very much in this situation), following the recommendations stipulated in the norms of universal law.
“The mission ad gentes-in other words, the task of announcing the Gospel in places where it is not known is one of the fundamental activities of the Church, for the Church is missionary by its very nature. The main agent of the mission ad gentes is the Holy Spirit, who inspires Provinces and Commissariats to appoint members to this task. It is the Spirit who gives the missionary charism to those who are sent. In this work, the Order recognises “immense opportunities in such areas as charity, evangelical proclamation, Christian education, culture, and solidarity with the poor, the marginalized, the oppressed, and those who suffer discrimination.”
All our communities shall support this essential task with their prayers and by encouraging the faithful to become personally involved and, according to their circumstances, to provide material help. Missionary work requires a specific spirituality and a process of inculturation; we are confident therefore, that the mission ad gentes will reveal the heart of the Carmelite charism in a new way for the good of the Church and of the Order.”